"Once upon a time, long, long ago, in a realm called the Midwestern United States ~ specifically the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin ~ a group of friends gathered together to forever alter the history of gaming."It wasn't their intent to do so. They were tired of merely reading tales about worlds of magic, monsters and adventure. They wanted to play in those worlds, rather than observe them. That they went on to invent Dungeons & Dragons, and thereby ignite a revolution in gaming that continues to this day, speaks to two things."
There are many reasons why historians write revisionist histories. First and foremost it serves as a marketing tool. It sounds so much better to argue that the inventors of something in the past were extrordinarily clever persons who conceived, in the moment, how great the thing they were doing was ... including all the effects of that thing right down to the moment that we are publishing 5th Edition D&D. It makes us sound so much more proper that we are following in the footsteps of these great men, these amazing companions whose minds were such that they could see how their efforts were going to revolutionize the ~ ta ta ta DA! ~ the History ... ee ... ee ... ee ... of ... Gaming ... ng ... ng ... ng ...
As a supporter of an alternate view, I'm made illegitimate, simply because the publishers say so. It doesn't matter that there is literally 40 years of documentation to argue the contrary of these two paragraphs, right down to the geography mentioned ... those children who come to this book over the next forty years will believe this book, and not the facts. That's how revisionism works. It encourages the future to destroy the past.
That is how Columbus became a national hero and how Pocahontas and John Smith became star-crossed lovers. It is how Santa Claus was reinvented. Revisionism works. It takes a lot of effort to kill it.
[okay, maybe I don't want to kill Santa Claus ~ but you get the idea]
What 5th Edition wants to sell is the propaganda that they are continuing the tradition of these great men with the rules that are contained in this book. They want us to overlook that these rules are a blasphemy of that invention, a circumlocution of the principles upon which the history-altering game was based upon. They want to have their present cake and they want us to eat it ... and, most likely, the hoi polloi will. Because they don't know any better.
If I knew nothing else about 5th Edition D&D, these two paragraphs alone would be enough to throw this book across the room. Instead, I'm going to read it, cover to cover, to see what I can learn. I hope you don't mind; that is going to take a little time. Don't expect me to keep silent. Now with this sort of writing to look forward to.